Archive for the sweets Category

Apple Semolina bake

Posted in sweets with tags , , , , , on 22,May,2009 by Mia

 Apple -Semolina bake/Kahliyalogue

Once again Im in the mood for something pampering and sweet.The weather is warmer,and I`d like a  naturally mild sweet  refreshing snack .So I set my sights again on finding a sollution for something health friendly yet soul soothing..and I found it!

Back in the days when I used to prepare Natural baked goods and delicacies for a living,one of my popular cakes was an Apple coffee cake,topped with Apple slices in Cinnamon.It was a real hit.In those days although I would use whole wheat flour,I still used eggs and did not really economise on the use of sugar or oil even if they were the healthier kinds.

This time,I felt like using the basic idea but exploring a lighter version,without eggs,using very little oil,Coconut oil in this case,aswell as very little Brown Sugar,though I would of even preferred to use Jaggery(which I wrote about here)I just didnt happen to have any at the moment.For the base I used Semolina instead of flour,turning it into a mold since semolina tends to just stick together ,so the Apples and Cinnamon create the flavor and the moisture.

Semolina cake is a very typical traditional cake in many Mediterranean/Middle Eastern cultures slightly varying in preparation and usually very rich ,and quite delicious.I guess these cakes like “Basboussa” for example are another origin of inspiration here,though obviously the outcome is something much lighter.

You are welcome to regard this as a base adding more oil/sugar if you please,I just wanted to see how little I actually need to make it satisfyingly tasty and healthy,while at the same time it is very possible to actually totally delete the use of sugar and oil if you wish.For me personally the flavor of the Apples and cinnamon was refreshingly pleasing.

 

Apple Semolina bake/Kahliyalogue

Since this bake is quite dense ,I used a small baking dish of 12cm x 16 cm,and cut small square servings.

Ingredients:

For topping:

1 large Apple

Cinnamon

Brown Sugar

For base:

1 cup Semolina(1.5)approx.

1 tbs Coconut oil + 1 tsp(for oiling the dish)

Cinnamon

Brown sugar

1 cup(approx) boiled water

1 cup (approx)Soy milk

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Peel Apple,cut in quarters,then slice medium thin slices

mix in a bowl with some sprinkled cinnamon,and brown sugar(I used about 1-1.5 tbs)

Mix together ,then neatly place in an oven dish,slightly oiled with coconut oil(or any other)

Keep in mind that the end result is served reversing the dish,so place the slices with their wider side facing down.

 

In a frying pan put coconut oil,and as it heats up pour in 1 cup of Semolina,sprinkle some Cinnamon and quickly toss around the semolina allowing it to toast slightly as the grains get covered with the oil.

This is a very short process as you should not allow it to burn,lower heat and pour in about 1 cup boiled water mixed with a bit of brown sugar( I used 1-1.5 tbs),mix thoroughly and quickly as the blend insatntly becomes lumpy,keep mixing while you add another 1 cup of Soy milk,making sure you maintain a smooth blend.Your end result should be a moist thick blend which you then pour over the arranged Apple slices,flattening the top surface.

Bake in a preheated oven 200 for 20-30 min.

Beware of the top drying out,when it does sprinkle some boiled water,allowing the cake to retain its moisture and continue to bake covered.

Remove from oven,with a sharp knife cut through the inner sides of the dish,place a dish over its top,hold firmly and quickly reverse the bake onto the plate.

You may then sprinkle some more Cinnamon to decorate,slice and serve!

Luscious Nature..Anona Parfait

Posted in sweets with tags , , , , , on 19,March,2009 by Mia

Anona parfait/Kahliya-logue

I gotta tell you guys…I`m completely ecstatic..! Why you ask? Because of this amazing desert!

It`s just so important to me to show how all we need is there within the Earth`s produce in such a lovely healthy balance,all we need is to learn it`s language,and oh what a lovely language it is!

I first saw this recipe from the “Purely delicious” magazine, and was totally in awe..Today,as I was feeling a bit down(yes,yes, again..) I felt the desperate need to make some “pick me up” magic,and decided to go for any quick version that I would be able to invent almost in the spur of a moment,and ofcourse with whatever I happened to have on hand at that moment.And to tell you the truth,considering my mood which was accompanied with a huge lack of concentration & patience, I was almost surprised it came out seriously SOOO  fabulous!

Since it was really made in a whimsical whiff,I can hardly account for the exact quantities used,though I will try here to rediscover them for you(and me!) .But rest assure that since it was really that good  I will surely make it again,and I promise to return here and state more accurate measurements.

 

Anona/Kahliya-logue

I based my version on the pulp of one large  ANONA  fruit,which I happened to have ,as opposed to the pulp of a coconut in the original recipe;topped with a few Strawberries ,instead of the Rasberries,and I prepared the base with chopped  Almonds,Hazelnuts and Dates creating somewhat of a more chunky version than the original recipe,which was not initially my intention-I was actually going to grind them finer and then a wave of laziness got the best of me.That together with the fact that I realised  I actually prefer the chunks,and now Im glad I left it that way..

The recipe was meant for several “mini-tart” servings,but my Star Anona restricted this whole production to what would be equivalent to about 2 mini tarts.

One more thing before we begin.This is not really a tart as actually the origin calls it a “cream” and suggests the possibility of keeping it cooled in the fridge or frozen in the freezer.In my case,I regard the “cream” I have prepared to be something like a “parfait” ,which was perfect slightly frozen(not completely as it just hardens..),and would probably not hold aswell in the fridge unless you added something like some AGAR  AGAR which is a perfect natural ingredient with which to prepare creamy deserts.

Ingredients:

For base:

10(approx)Dates- soaked in warm water,then pitted and roughly chopped.

15(approx)Almonds-soaked in water enough to peel the skins off;roughly chopped

6(approx)Hazelnuts-roughly chopped.

approx 3 tbs -Date molasses(pure,unsweetened)

Cinnamon

A pinch of Salt(preferably sea salt)

– – – –

For filling:

10(approx)Cashews soaked in water

Pulp of 1 large Anona fruit

3 tsp(approx) Coconut oil

1/4 cup (approx)Soy milk

a few Strawberries for topping

*    *    *    *   *    *    *

In a bowl mix chopped nuts with Dates,add Cinnamon and date molasses,and a pinch of Salt.

Mix together with hands,knead a little and create a “ball of dough”.

Line a small rimmed dish(6.5inch/15cm)with plastic wrap or parchment paper,press the “dough” into the dish,creating an ‘inner dish’,make sure it is dense,and try to even the edges.

Place in freezer and procced to work on filling.

In a bowl mix pulp of Anona with chopped softened Cashews(starined from the water and chopped).I used a “Blender stick”(did I mention I was lazy?)but I guess it would blend smoother in a proper highspeed blender

Add 2-3 tsp Coconut oil,and slowly add Soy milk (about 1/4 cup),use as much as you need to create a creamy consistency-make sure it does not become too liquidy..

Bring back your dish and fill it with the cream,topping it with Strawberries,that you have washed and cut their tops off,decorating in circular motion .Return dish to freezer till ready to serve.Upon serving,delicately remove from the dish to take the paper off and move to apropriate serving dish.

Now for an additional surprise!

Anona Parfait-kahliya-logue

I had some filling left over,and found it made a delicious “parfait” /Ice cream ,within itself without the crust!

So,take that into consideration,if you ever would like to prepare an “ANONA PARFAIT” on another occasion!

I would like to emphasize again that all the experiments I share with you here have one goal which is to encourage you to “Go with Nature” and especially to experiment with your creativity! I honestly dont believe in any NoNo`s.If you dont find any Anona,try any other fruit!And if you feel like sharing any version you felt like trying,feel free to come back and tell us all about it,so we can all learn this fabulous language of Nature!

Enjoy!

Rustic Strawberry pie

Posted in sweets with tags , , , , , on 13,March,2009 by Mia

Rustic Strawberry pie/Kahliya-logue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mmmmmm strawberries…Ruby red luscious sweet beauties…

This is just another way I try to preserve Nature`s beauty and sweetness without too much interfering..

Ingredients:

500 gr(approx) fresh strawberries

Lemon-a small squeeze of fresh juice.(optional)

Jaggery-Raw Cane Sugar,much healthier than sugar,I have used it here.Can be purchased at the Indian shops.

Dough:

2 cupsWholewheat flour

a few pinches of Jaggery.

1.5 tbs Cinnamon

1/3 cup Soy milk already diluted with water/or water

1/8 – 1/4  cup Canola Oil.

*  *  *  *  *  *

Prepare the dough:

Place 2 cups whole wheat flour in bowl,add Jaggery and Cinnamon and mix together.

Then add oil and mix,after which add the milk(or water)and form dough adjusting flour or liquid if needed.

Put to rest in fridge.

Meantime,rince strawberries and cut tops containing leaves off.pat dry with paper towel and place in bowl.

Squeeze a few drops of fresh lemon and add some pinches of Jaggery to the strawberries.Mix them delicately in the bowl,until the jaggery dissolves and covers all the strawberries.

Take the dough out and flatten into a flat circle with a rolling pin and gently place into a baking dish layered with parchement baking paper.

Preheat the oven.

Place the strawberries one by one on the dough surface in a circular arrangement beginning with the outer circle and moving on to the inner circles,filling up the pie`s surface completely.If you wish you can  again add a few pinches of jaggery over the strawberries.

Place in oven heated to 250 (may differ-I use a toaster oven)for approx 15 min.

Voila! You have yourself a very simple,gently sweetened strawberry tarte.I hope you like it.

Enjoy!

Dried- fruit strudel

Posted in sweets with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 4,March,2009 by Mia

Dried-fruit Strudel /Kahliyalogue

One of the categories in which I feel  especially challenged following up on my approach to food,is in the sweets..we are so accustomed to certain flavours,as to the extreme sweetness of white sugar,normally added in abundance,that I find it a struggle to achieve similar results.But on the light side,I actually enjoy RE-discovering the true flavors of authentic products this earth brings to us,removed from beneath  their camouflage and brought out into the light,aswell as RE-polishing their shining armor of highly potent vitality and virtues they were originally provided with to bring us  a high quality of life!

 

“And God said,behold,I have given you every herb bearing seed,which is upon the face of the earth,and every tree,

in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed;to you it shall be for food.”

Genesis 1:29

 

While I admit it takes quite a lot of adaptation to go through,as I myself have allways been a “sweet tooth junky”,but it is a learning process just like any other,provided we are interested to learn,and believe me the results are well worth the process! If you are even just a bit intrigued,just tag along as I promise to report back with only the most successful experiments! 🙂

Dried-fruit Strudel/kahliya-logue

For this Strudel I have prepared a dough with wholewheat flour seasoned with spices,no sugar,no eggs and no raising agents.I filled it with a mixture of  coarsely chopped dried fruits and nuts;in this case dates,figs,raisins and walnuts were used with some added spices,and some pure unsweetened date molasses.I encourage you to go at it with any mixture you would like,or have on hand,changing it each time for added variation,it`s the basic idea that counts,once you`ve got it,the sky is the limit!

Dried fruit  are wonderful energy boosters,high in vitamins and minerals especially iron,that transform into genuine fuel for the body,providing a more balanced and sustainable vitality as opposed to the instant ”high” followed by an immediate drop brought on by the white sugar,leaving us just craving for more..not to mention the extra unwanted kilograms it delivers,as a result of the body unable to absorb and process it for it`s functioning!

Ingredients:

For the dough:

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/3  cup oil ( I used Olive oil and it was fine,though Sesame oil for instance will

probably gain even tastier  results.choose any you would like providing it is a cold pressed natural oil!)

1/4 cup tepid water

Cinnamon– a mildly sweet,warm spice ,known to aid in digestion.

Anise seed – a refreshing,slightly sweet spice in which it`s components aid in digestion.

Sesame seed(I used whole sesame seeds which are of a more brownish color,and are more nutritious)

and Nigella seeds, both for decoration( aswell as for their nutrional value.)

 

For the filling:

3-4 Dates(pitted)

3 Dried Figs

1.5 tbs Raisins

4 tbs Walnuts

Pure unsweetened Date Molasses

Anise seed

Cinnamon

pinch of Salt

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

In a medium size bowl,place whole wheat flour mix in 1.5 tbs Cinnamon,and 1 tbs sesame seeds.add oil and mix into flour.Then add water,mixing well following by slightly kneading  the dough that has formed, adding water or flour if needed.Place in fridge for an hour.

Coarsely chop the dried fruit and the nuts and place in a bowl,adding 1 tbs cinnamon; 1 tbs Anise seeds,and 1 tbs sesame seeds and a pinch of salt.Mix well while dry ,then add approx 3 tbs date molasses,start with 2 and see if the mixture kind of sticks together without being too liquidy.If needed add some more.

Take the dough out and flatten on a surface sprinkled with Sesame and Nigella seeds into a rectangular shape.Place the mixture in a straight line along the middle of your rectangle.Bring both sides to a close towards the middle,and pinch all along the center ,and on each end ,hermetically sealing the pastry so the filling wont leak.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees( may slightly differ as I use an oven toaster),and bake for about 25- 30 minutes.Stay carefully tuned,allowing the dough to tan and crisp but not burn.

Enjoy!

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*Note: I am sending this post as an entry to the brilliant “Novel food event # 7” launched by Lisa from Champaign Taste,and Simona from Briciole! A combined culinary/literary event presenting dishes inspired by literary work!This is so exciting!

Date balls

Posted in sweets with tags , , on 22,December,2008 by Mia

date

 

Sweet tooth.?

Why not go for something healthy for a change?

So easy to make,even with kids,leaving an open door for many creative variations,Date balls are made essentially of Dates which are high in Iron and Calcium besides being a very healthy form of natural carbohydrates.

———————————–

Pitted Dates (there are prepared pastes,but I prefer choosing my own  nice dates,and pitting them by myself thank you very much..)

Roughly chopped Walnuts

Cinnamon

Rosewater(optional)

Freshly squeezed Lemon/or Salt(optional)

A few drops of Sesame oil (optional)

Sesame seeds

————————–

After pitting the Dates,pressing them together forms a paste.Treat it as molding clay and be creative!

I sprinkle some cinnamon,a few drops of Rosewater(usually found where you find Mediteranean products),a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon for a bit of contrast to the sweetness of the Dates(or a bit of Salt if you prefer),and a few drops of Sesame oil too smoothen the paste if you like(optional).Add the chopped Walnuts,roll into balls, and roll them into a plate of Sesame seeds.

And..presto! Fun Yummy sweets to be kept in the refrigerator to harden.

Feel free to use the date paste as a base to which you can experiment with any other chopped nuts and spices of your choice!

Enjoy!

Carob-Banana cupcakes

Posted in sweets with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 5,November,2008 by Mia

 

carob-banana cupcake

 

Apart from being vegan,I am also very much ”Pro-Natural”.

Basically I believe in the natural ingredients Earth is presenting to us,

as providing all we need in terms of nutrition and taste buds!

When it comes to sweets,Im a huge fan,I probably like baking more than

cooking…There`s something about preparing sweets that’s allways

a surprise!

Food is something we must have in our routine,

sweets are less expected,less obvious,

hence,more of an added gift..

In Turkey,there is a common saying I like very much which says-

”After a quarrel,let us eat sweets to sweeten our words..”

It becomes even more of a surprise as I am in constant search of the most natural way to

create something healthy and yummy!

When baking I try as much as possible not to use any raising agents.

For these cupcakes I`ve used:

Whole wheat flour

A dash of salt

A few pinches of jaggery*(can very easily go without/

or with a bit of brown sugar)

Pure unsweetened Carob molasses

Crushed Banana

Coarsely chopped Walnuts

Some warm water

Some Soy milk

——————-

There you go

Just mix it all,starting with the flour,

adding a dash of salt

and the sugar,which really isn’t terribly needed

since the carob molasses is so sweet!

*Jaggery is a very healthy  unrefined sap

obtained from the sugar cane,highly considered in ”Ayurveda“‘,Indian Medicine.

Jaggery is mostly found wherever you find Indian/Asian food products,densly packed

either in the shape of a large cube or cone,in a Golden color.

Make sure you buy it in a nice light shade of Gold and not dark,as it darkens with age.

gur-006

 

Then add the Carob molasses ,mix it well into the flour,adding

warm water and soy milk to create a smooth consistency.

The mixture should be a moist paste.

Add the crushed Banana

and Walnuts

Pour into cupcake molds

I used paper molds which I inserted in the cupcake pan.

Fill the molds 3/4 way.

* Dont expect them to rise that much,since there’s no agent

They do not become fluffy

They are rich and moist.

Depending on your oven

Bake them at a moderate to hot oven (200-250)

and take close care not to over bake them

as they are to stay a bit moist

A good technique is to insert a wooden toothpick

or sharp knife and see when it comes out almost dry

It took me about 15-20 minutes in a small Toaster-oven.

Enjoy!